Réal Demers | Journalist
Fear of failure. Fear of making a mistake. Fear of losing control, not being good enough, not having enough time... Fear can be paralyzing--but it can also be a great motivator, if you know how to make it work to your advantage.
"Fear is the common denominator for all types of entrepreneurs," says Yves Plourde, a coach and trainer at an entrepreneurship school in Beauce, Quebec. "As a group, entrepreneurs tend to have more than their fair share of uncertainty in their lives... Not to mention insomnia and nightmares," he adds.
According to Plourde, if you recognize that fear is a natural emotion and learn how to tame it, you can transform it into an extraordinary source of energy--and an asset for your business.
Getting out of your comfort zone
The energy behind that feeling of fear can be a motivator to get out of your comfort zone. And that motivation can increase your chances of success in your business venture.
"First, you need to understand your fear before you can use it. Then, you need to figure out how to face it and overcome it to be able to work toward your goals. Even if you do something and it doesn't succeed, you need pick yourself up, try again and keep working toward your goal. All of that requires a healthy dose of courage and determination."
How to use your fears to your advantage
Plourde says there are 5 things you can do to get over your fears and use them to your advantage:
1. Focus on your strengths, your past successes and the expertise of your staff in order to make smart decisions.
2. Act. Now. Don't let your fear hold you back and keep you waiting.
3. Talk to a professional. If your fear is truly an obstacle for you, finding the root cause will help you manage it more effectively.
4. Remind yourself that fear isn't a real, physical thing; it exists only in your mind.
5. Talk about your fears with someone you trust, like a mentor, trainer, colleague or fellow entrepreneur.
Plourde suggests recognizing your fears, accepting them, listening to what they're telling you, and incorporating them into how you manage your business. That way, they'll never again be an obstacle to your success.